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Astronaut’s family return to homeland

One small step for the Armstrongs, one giant leap for Langholm

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Astronaut’s family return to homeland
A FINAL PICTURE. . . Relatives of Neil Armstrong with his new plaque outside of Langholm Town Hall

RELATIVES of astronaut Neil Armstrong have visited Langholm.

The first man on the moon became the town’s first freeman in 1972.

And to mark the 50th anniversary of that occasion members of Armstrong’s family came to Eskdale last week, including his son and grandchildren.

LUNAR LEARNING. . . Mark and Rick Armstrong with pupils from Langholm Nursery

However, as many planned events were scaled back or cancelled following the Queen’s death.

But the family still received a warm welcome, including hearing piper Iain Bell playing the specially written “Riding with the Armstrong’s”.

They had a private tour of Gilnockie Tower, their ancestral home; visited “Black Jock” Johnnie Armstrong’s grave at Teviothead; and saw lunar tartan being woven at Drove Weaving.

DRINK TO REMEMBER. . . Ian Martin, Mark Armstrong and Rick Armstrong toasting Johnnie Armstrong with a wee dram

A plaque dedicated to the family was unveiled on the town hall and a tree was planted at the parish church to commemorate the visit.

Kali Armstrong said: “Stepping out of the van with the bagpipes playing brought tears to my eyes. I was suddenly completely overwhelmed with the emotion of coming home.

“It was exciting to learn from the steward at the Tower about the restoration project and the future projects planned.

ARMSTRONG APPLES. . . Members of the Armstrong family planted an apple tree with pupils from Langholm Academy

“I really look forward to continuing this connection and returning to this place that holds such a special place in my heart.”

A HEARTFELT GIFT RETURNS. . . Rick and Mark Armstrong, gift Tom Jack and Ian Martin with their mother’s Luar Stole, gifted by Langholm 50 years ago

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